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Crime

Missing Oxnard woman’s body located in Santa Barbara County, ex-husband arrested for murder

OXNARD, Calif. - The Oxnard Police Department arrested a man from Salinas this week after he admitted to killing his ex-wife identified as a missing woman from Oxnard.

Eudelia Gonzalez Rojas was reported missing on Sunday, July 11, after she allegedly got into a vehicle with an unknown person on Saturday and never returned home.

Police said a detailed follow-up investigation conducted by the Missing Persons Unit and Detectives from the Oxnard Police Department obtained evidence that upgraded this missing person case to suspicious circumstances.

Detectives then obtained a search warrant for a residence in Salinas, California, belonging to Rojas' ex-husband 41-year-old Josefino Cayetano Maldonado. The warrant was served on Thursday and detectives said they interviewed Maldonado, who confessed to killing Rojas in Ventura County and disposing of her body in Santa Barbara County.

Detectives said while they are still processing the area where Rojas was murdered, they know it did not take place within the City of Oxnard.

Police said Rojas' body was located Friday morning down an embankment near the 101 freeway north of Gaviota Tunnel. The Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue Team responded to help recover her body.

Maldonado was arrested and booked at the Ventura County Pre-Trial Detention Facility on murder charges. His bail was set at $500,000.

This investigation is ongoing. The City of Oxnard is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for committing homicides within the city.

Police are encouraging any members of the public who happened to witness this incident to come forward. If you have any information, you can contact Detective Chip Buttell at 805-385-7688 or Detecitve Michael McManama at 805-385-7662. Witnesses can also contact the Oxnard Police Department at 805-385-7600 or online at www.oxnardpd.org.

Ventura County / Video
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Jessica Brest

Jessica Brest is a digital journalist and assignment editor for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Jessica, click here.

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